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Dayton school board members clash over decision to buy or lease buses

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 6:26 PM
Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 6:56 PM


            A Dayton Public Schools bus. STAFF

A Dayton Public Schools finance committee meeting Monday evening got heated after members disagreed about how many new school buses to acquire and how to pay for them.

Finance committee Chair Joe Lacey decided to step away as chair for this issue, because he disagrees with the committee’s recommendation to buy or lease as many as 115 school buses.

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“I don’t agree with the position that the finance committee is taking,” the school board member said.

But board member Adil Baguirov said it makes much more sense to lease or finance 110 to 115 new buses. He said this will remedy safety risks and will be a better deal for taxpayers.

“I am a proponent of using the power of financing or leasing to afford a lot of buses at once,” he said. “We have a very old fleet of buses.”

The finance committee proposes leasing or financing 110 to 115 buses, instead of buying 30 new buses, which was the district’s original plan. The district has 200 buses, which have an average age of 14 years old.

MORE: Busing problems plague Dayton schools

The district’s oldest bus is 27 years old.

The district budgeted $2.6 million for 2016-2017 to buy new school buses. The district would be able to acquire about 30 new buses.

But Baguirov said it is cheaper and more advantageous to finance 115 buses at once, instead of replacing 30 buses each year.

Depending on what financing option the board chooses, he said, the annual cost to the district could be between $1.1 million to $2.1 million.

The length of financing period could be five to 10 years. Baguirov said the cost of new school buses is expected to increase significantly in coming years, so this would be a wise long-term investment.

Lacey said he disagrees with this approach and asked to step aside as chair of the finance committee when this proposal is introduced.

The chair of the finance committee must present the resolution to the full board.

“I am not advocating for this, because I think I’ll vote against it,” he said. “I think it’s too many — I don’t think we need 115 buses.”

Lacey said he also does not think it is wise to commit the district to such a sizable purchase at this time.

He said the proposal is an overreaction to news coverage and complaints about the condition, age and other concerns about the buses.

Terrorism expert calls Manchester attack the worst since 2005

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 10:04 AM

The explosion near Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom where an Ariana Grande concert on Monday is the second most significant attack in the country since 2005, according to Glen Duerr, a Cedarville University professor who has citizenship in the U.K., the United States and Canada.

“The targets really being teenage girls in particular, pre-teen girls and younger kids, so really (it’s) a heinous attack,” Duerr said. 

At least 22 people were killed and 59 injured which has been identified as a terrorist attack carried out by a male suicide bomber. 

RELATED: Manchester attack at Ariana Grande concert: What we know now

Duerr also noted the attack occurred in the middle of campaign season in the U.K.

“The general election is coming up on June 8,” he said. “The polls are beginning to narrow so there’s real chance to influence the election.”

Toddler suffers severe burn injuries in Greenville

Published: Sunday, May 21, 2017 @ 11:18 PM
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 8:48 AM

UPDATE @ 8:49 a.m. 05/22/17

The 2-year-old boy who was burned on Knisley Road on Sunday was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital where his condition is listed as good, according to a Darke County Sheriff’s Office news release.

On Monday, the sheriff’s office released more details about the events leading up to the child’s injury.

Around 10:48 p.m. on Sunday, Darke County deputies, Union City Fire, Union City Rescue and Careflight were dispatched to the 8200 block of Kniseley Road for a child with serious burn injuries, according to the sheriff’s office.
A Greenville man poured gasoline on a bonfire which spread to a container another man was holding, according to the sheriff’s office news release. The man holding the container tripped over the 2-year-old boy, causing him to spill gasoline on the child.

The gas ignited on the boy causing burns to his face and hands, according to the sheriff’s office.

The incident remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office.

UPDATE @ 11:30 p.m.

CareFlight has landed in Greenville for the young child who was burned.

FIRST REPORT

A toddler suffered severe burns tonight in Greenville.

A CareFlight medical helicopter is on the way after the child was burned in the 8200 block of Knisely Road, according to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office.

Police and medics remain on scene, and we are working to find out how the child was hurt.

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2 children, who police say were shot in head by mother, have died

Published: Sunday, May 21, 2017 @ 8:11 PM
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 3:18 AM

DAYTON — The Helton children, 8-year-old Khmorra and 6-year-old Kaiden, died Sunday night at Dayton Children’s Hospital, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

  • The children were shot at the family’s Lori Sue Avenue home on May 18
  • The children’s 11-year-old sister was at home, but unharmed
  • The children’s mother, Claudena M. Helton, 30, remains in jail

INITIAL REPORT: 2 children shot in the head in Dayton

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed they had the bodies of the Helton children, but they would not release their times of death.

The children’s mother was arrested and has been in the Montgomery County Jail since the shooting on Thursday around 10 a.m. at their home at 3821 Lori Sue Avenue.

Claudena Helton is scheduled to appear in Dayton Municipal Court on Monday. She is charged with two counts of attempted murder and four counts of aggravated assault. We have contacted Dayton Police Department officials to find out whether the charges will be increased now that the children have died.

>>PHOTOS:  First responders arrive; neighbors comforted

>>911 CALLS:  Illustrate chaos in aftermath 

The children’s mother, Claudena Helton, had faced previous allegations involving children before last week's shootings. In March 2014, she was convicted of disorderly conduct in Montgomery County Juvenile Court, according to the county prosecutor's office.

At the time of the shootings, an investigation was open and active against Claudena Helton by Montgomery County Children Services.

Reaction from neighbor

John Sanders Sr. has lived in the 3800 block of Lori Sue Avenue — just a few houses down from the Helton home — for 45 years.

"From what I’ve seen and noticed, she and the kids got along fine,” Sanders said. “They were always out in the yard barbecuing, cleaning the car, going back and forth to school. I could see no problem whatsoever. I was very shocked to hear, and disturbed, as to what happened over there.”

Sanders, who has 13 grandchildren, said it saddened him to learn of Khmorra and Kaiden Helton’s deaths tonight.

“I'm sorry to hear that and my prayers go out to the family,” he said.

Sanders said law enforcement should take swifter action if they’re aware of child abuse.

“I’ve always thought and felt if, whenever the authorities know of cruelty ... they shouldn’t wait for an incident such as this to take place in order to take action," he said

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Cicada Invasion: Red-eyed insects are here

Published: Sunday, May 21, 2017 @ 5:15 PM

Cicadas are crawling on trees and plants and littering sidewalks.

>>Brood X cicadas set to arrive early in SW Ohio

A few hundred thousand of the red-eyed insects with delicate wings are the offspring of the Brood X batch that hatch every 17 years. They are early because some of the brood emerged in 2000 instead of 2004.

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